Utah's situation at the power forward position is a great dilemma to have; not too many teams can boast having two exceptional power forwards to choose from. Utah is equipped with Olympian Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap, the bonafide overachiever.
For what one lacks, the other makes up for nicely.
It's like looking in your garage and having the problem of choosing between the Mercedes and the Jaguar.
Whatever will you do?
Boozer is the deadly post-meister who, like the Golden State Warriors, plays offense and it shows. He can spin you like a record, go left hand or right at any given time, and his behind-the-dome jumper is almost impossible to defend. While a defensive mindset might elude him on occasion—at times it is simply a matter of timing—he is slow to react in order to competently defend quicker guards and opposing forwards at times.
But he will take your lunch money on the other end.
Millsap is the resident hustler, always putting his body through hell while he smiles that sly hustler grin of his. He blocks shots, has great timing, and plays nasty block-out defense for his stature. Millsap has also added some equally nice footwork this season and a better jumper to his arsenal. He gets his jollies on getting rebounds.
Both are relatively young and have promising careers ahead of them—Millsap is 23 and Boozer is 27.
The power forward position in Utah is absolutely critical to executing the offense in the pick and roll. Karl Malone left some mighty lofty shoes to fill but Millsap and Boozer are falling right into place.
Right into place to get rebounds, that is. Rebounding is the most underrated ability in the game.
Boozer averages 11.7 rebounds this season and in the past ten games Millsap has averaged 10.5.
Rebounding is a very telling statistic, it usually shows which team wants to win more. Thurl Bailey, former Jazz center and one of the current Utah Jazz sportscasters always looks at rebounding at half time to gauge which team is playing harder.
Sometimes a mere rebound can be a momentum builder, both Millsap and Boozer rebound well but Millsap is more of an offensive rebounder while Boozer is a better defensive rebounder.
Utah has missed this defensive rebounding ability Boozer has recently, even though some might want to say Millsap can do it, truthfully, Millsap is undersized and cannot always block out in the lane to give himself a better opportunity to get a defensive rebound like Boozer can with his frame alone.
Offensive boards for the Jazz equal multiple opportunities to score and inability to get defensive rebounds equals more chances for the opponents to score.
Both are important.
But I would venture to say defensive rebounding is more important. This is definitely debatable.
This is one of the reasons that teams like Miami and New Jersey were able to win, too many second chance points, too many chances at redemption for their airball or unsightly brick.
We have missed you Boozer.
Millsap has solidified himself as a deserving starter on any team in the league with his 10th straight double double as a starter in Boozer's absence.
If Boozer was to leave the Jazz, Utah knows they have a solid player to build around in Millsap.
But personally I like the idea of keeping both. While Boozer gets laid out by the quickest guards inside, he can still post up anyone, at any time in All-star fashion and when he decides he has had enough of getting trampled in the lane by whichever shooting guard wants to light us up, Millsap comes in right on schedule and can block two shots in six minutes.
Boozer will miss his 13th consecutive game Saturday against the Orlando Magic.
Hopefully he makes it back soon, but then again, I really don't want to be throwing stuff at my TV again while Booze gets trampled and Milly warms the bench.
It just doesn't seem fair to cut Millsap's minutes so dramatically when Booze comes back, which is what will most definitely happen.
Booze is a minutes player as we all saw in the Olympics, he needs many minutes to produce and Millsap is more productive in short spurts.
The best scenario is to keep both for the long haul but I doubt Millsap will be satisfied being Boozer's backup for his career.
Either way, whatever happens, if Boozer leaves and Millsap stays or if Boozer stays and Millsap leaves, Utah is in a good position at the power forward spot.